Girls vs. Boys and School Discipline

We have a new drama at our house this week.  My 5th grade son was kicked in the shins by a girl at school. When the principal called our house to inform us, we figured no big deal.  Our son will be fine.   We thought he might come home, show us where he was kicked and then it would be over.  WRONG!  It wasn’t his leg that bothered him so much. It was how the school dealt with the incident. He got off the bus, walked in the house and told us,  “The School is Sexist!”    I don’t think I have ever seen my son this upset about something that happened at school.

You’ll need a little history to understand where he is coming from.  A few weeks ago, he got in trouble at school for defending himself on the playground.  He received an in-school suspension and the principal explained the school’s zero tolerance policy.  If you kick, punch, or hurt another student, it is considered a fight and you will be disciplined.  He got the message!

So in his mind, this girl kicked him and she should be disciplined the same way.   Well, guess what? She was sent back to class after it happened and my son could not understand why she didn’t receive an in-school suspension.   The principal told my son the girl claimed it was an accident. But my son says there were witnesses who saw the kick  and it was clearly intentional and unprovoked. I had no answer for him.  I couldn’t explain it myself.

So I emailed the principal and asked him to follow-up with my son.  I explained my son’s confusion.  Why would he get disciplined and this girl appeared to get off scott free?

The principal obliged and met with my son. However, my son came home again and said it still doesn’t add up.   He’s still upset.

Now, I have asked the principal to contact me.  But I am not sure how to handle this.  I don’t think I can change the situation.  My gut says it’s almost the end of the school year, my son is moving up to the Junior High and I should just let it go.   I’ve tried to tell my son the same thing, but he feels so wronged by the system.

How is your school with discipline? Do girls get away with more than boys? Is this just an isolated incident? What would you do if you were me? Personally, I was hoping to stay out of it and just let my son deal with it.   Would love some advice on this one.